In The Nation, Professor of Political Science David Ost describes the border tensions that have left migrants caught between the autocratic-leaning governments of Poland and Belarus.
Professor of Political Science David Ost, an expert on Eastern European politics and society, writes in The Nation of how Poland’s ruling party turned a minor border crisis into an “existential threat.”
Ost describes the recent geopolitics at work, as well as the historical and cultural contexts underpinning the crisis, and notes the “visceral shock” many in the region have experienced upon seeing “misery and death of people” stuck at the Poland-Belarus border, “guilty of nothing more than being duped by Belarus.”
“As usual, the most vulnerable lose,” he writes. “Europe has gone further [toward] officially abandoning all obligations to process asylum-seekers. The migrants will be lucky to escape with their lives.”
A member of the faculty since 1986, Ost has written widely on Eastern European politics, with a focus on political economy, democratization, capitalism and labor. His books include Solidarity and the Politics of Anti-Politics, Workers After Workers’ States, The Defeat of Solidarity: Anger and Politics in Postcommunist Europe (2005); and the special 2015 issue of East European Politics and Societies titled “Class After Communism.” His articles have appeared in journals such as Politics and Society, Eastern European Politics and Society, Constellations, European Journal of Social Theory, Comparative Politics, Theory and Society, Perspectives on Politics, European Journal of Industrial Relations, The Nation, Dissent, Telos, and Tikkun. He serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals in the U.S. and Poland. In 2005, former Polish President Lech Walesa presented Ost with a special medal issued for the 25th Anniversary of Solidarity.